MKs Call for Cancellation of Wagner Concert
The Israeli Knesset on Wednesday joined the chorus of calls to cancel a planned Jerusalem concert of works by German composer Richard Wagner during the Israel Festival this summer, according to the Jerusalem Post.
MKs called on the festival to reconsider, or for the public to boycott the concert. The newspaper added that they also called on Speaker Avraham Burg to send a formal request from the Knesset to the festival to cancel the concert. Burg did not respond to the call.
The performance of Wagner has long stirred controversy in Israel, since he and his music are associated with anti-Semitism and the Nazi regime.
The Staatskatelle Orchestra, under the direction of Daniel Barenboim, is scheduled to hold three concerts in July, the third of which is to be dedicated to the works of Wagner.
Last October, the first public concert of Wagner's music in Israel was given by the Rishon Lezion Symphony Orchestra, after the High Court of Justice rejected a petition against it. A Holocaust survivor caused a disruption at the start, but then left.
The daily quoted him saying “the organizers are indifferent people who are diminishing the memory of the Jewish people." He said the festival is also denying the oath made only recently on Holocaust Remembrance Day "to remember and not to forget."
However, festival director-general Yossi Tal-Gan said he had not received any formal request by a minister or MK, adding that the decision to hold the Wagner concert still stood.
Tal-Gan said that if a request to cancel the concert arrived, it would be brought before the festival's public committee. He noted that the committee approved the decision to include the Wagner concert, and that the body includes representatives appointed by the state, public figures, and artists – Albawaba.com
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